How to Treat and Prevent Them
Ever felt like you’re peeing flames? Or, that you have a constant desire to pee only to find yourself perched upon the porcelain with the unworthiest golden stream? And that stream isn’t only tiny, it’s cloudy and smells a little funky? Sorry to break the news, but with symptoms like these, there’s a chance you could have a UTI.
No need to stress, though, you are not alone. One in three women will be diagnosed with a UTI by age 24 and more than half the female population will be affected in their lifetime. They’re some pretty big numbers, so we’re going to take one for the team and lay down the facts on UTI causes, symptoms and treatments for when that day may arrive (but, fingers crossed it never does and you’re just reading this for a friend).
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection within the urinary tract that can affect the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and/or urethra.
What causes a UTI?
Considered to be one of the most common bacterial infections, UTIs are caused by unwelcomed bacteria entering and multiplying in the urinary tract. Sounds just like an out-of-control house party, right? Well, it’s similar except instead of humans crashing the party, it’s E-coli (the most common bacteria passed between the anus and urethra) or micro-organisms like mycoplasma or chlamydia (passed on during sex).
UTIs can happen to anyone however they’re more common in sexually active women.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
UTIs are often asymptomatic. That means you may be symptom-free. If you’re one of the unlucky few with symptoms, you may experience:
- Burning sensation when peeing (also likened to peeing razor blades — ouch!)
- Peeing more frequently
- Not being able to empty your bladder completely (aka the pee that cries wolf)
- Lower abdominal and/or pelvic pain
- Cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine
How to treat a UTI?
Urinary tract infections can be diagnosed via a simple urine test with your trusted GP. The sample will be sent to a lab to identify the specific cause of infection and a correct course of treatment. Spoiler alert — UTI treatment is likely to be antibiotics. Along with antibiotics, drink plenty of water to expel bacterial intruders and take paracetamol for any abdominal pain during the early stages.
How to prevent a UTI?
The Youly top five ways to reduce your chance of getting a UTI:
- Wipe from front to back — Reduce the risk of spreading bacteria from your back end, by wiping front to back every time.
- Don’t hold your pee — When visiting the restroom, release freely and fully to reduce bacteria build-up.
- Pee immediately after sex — Sexual penetration makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Peeing will flush the bacteria from your system. The post-sex cuddles can wait.
- Avoid products that may irritate your lady parts — We’re talking; douches, feminine hygiene sprays, feminine hygiene cleansers, vagina powders and soaps. The vagina is perfectly capable of cleaning itself and over-washing can make matters worse.
- Become friends with H2O — Drinking plenty of water will help to expel unwelcomed bacteria in your lady bits. As for cranberry juice; well, the evidence is conflicting. We’d recommend chatting with your doctor about this option.
Now that you’re in the know for all things UTI, you’ll be prepared should one come knocking on your vagina’s door.
This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.